UAM - AmeriCorps VISTA Participate in National Day of Service

On Monday, January 18, the observance of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, many businesses and institutions will be closed for a federal holiday. That holiday is also known as a national day of service. Americans around the country are rolling up their sleeves for this “day on, not a day off.”

Each year, community members, along with AmeriCorps members across the country, join with local organizations to serve their communities. Whether that is by grabbing a paintbrush, mentoring a young person, or helping to clean up a public space, engaging in any type of volunteerism makes a world of difference. 

Across the nation, people will unite in honoring King's life and legacy through various service projects on the federal holiday. Locally, the UAM Center for College and Career Readiness and Arkansas Smart Start AmeriCorps members will volunteer by holding a packing event in which their members will help box canned goods, make fleece blankets, and wrap books to be donated.

The pandemic has presented challenges for many communities and community members. AmeriCorps members have been working throughout the year to ensure the health and safety of our communities, “While COVID-19 has affected the community’s ability to congregate and function, it has also fostered a spirit of going the extra mile to help one another," said Julianna Mendenhall, a UAM AmeriCorps VISTA member. "Our community has viewed the pandemic as a hurdle between families, neighbors, and coworkers but it has gone above and beyond to ensure that those most affected have their needs met, despite the obstacles,” said Julianna Mendenhall.

 The local AmeriCorps VISTA service project is sponsored by EngageAR. EngageAR has invested $11,650 in 10 service projects across the state for this year’s day of service. Project focus areas range from educating youth about civic engagement and getting communities involved in serving their neighbors, to addressing food insecurity and homelessness.

 UAM Center for College and Career Readiness, the department housing the AmeriCorps VISTA program,will serve the community by donating canned goods, books and fleece blankets to the Revival Center Church Community Development Organization. They are also around MLK Day will also be uploaded and made available to individuals via the UAMonticello YouTube page and through the event website found at:
You can do your part to support your community during one of the most difficult times in our nation by choosing to serve this MLK day of service. Community members are encouraged to join the thousands of Americans serving their communities this year in safe and socially distanced ways on MLK day of service by volunteering their “day on” to honor the legacy of Dr. King. Contact local nonprofit organizations, churches, and charities to see how you can help.

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